I object to the attitude expressed in your editorial
in Issue 2-1994 where we read: “As most of the world
knows by now, the civil war in Rwanda took a tragic turn in
April. Who was fighting whom and for what reason or who ‘won’
could be considered incidental – as wars go.”
How is it possible to say that it does not matter
who wins or loses a war? Would you have said that of the Second
World War? Of the American civil war? Of all those other wars
on whose outcome depended our slow progress to a more just
society and more respect for the individual? Even if the term
“winners” and “losers” makes little
sense at all except militarily speaking (since it is obvious
that the Rwandan Patriotic Front won the war that was triggered
off or at least flared up again simultaneously with the government-orchestrated
massacres), the outcome matters a lot.
It is also not right to infer that a civil war
was going on in Rwanda when the killings started on April
4. It is a flagrant distortion of the truth when outright
organised aggression against minority groups is – for
the sake of ease, or from sheer ignorance or indifference
– called civil war.
Laetitia van Drunen
I refer to the article “The Bosnian Quagmire”
by Urs Boegli in Issue 2-1994. I strongly condemn the views
expressed in the article, particularly under the heading
“The European Factor”. It is astonishing to
note that on the one hand, the ICRC merely “keeps
malnourished Sahelians from war-related starvation and guides
them back to their customary level of misery” while
at the same time in Bosnia, resources seem to have been
spent on alleviating the “deeply felt loss of house,
car, television, refrigerator, deep freeze and holidays
on the beach”. To trumpet European material well-being
in the face of extreme human suffering is obscene and insensitive
to say the least. To have the ICRC’s relief operation
directed by someone who holds these views is a sad state
of affairs indeed.
Editors’ note: Urs Boegli wrote that the recipients
of ICRC’s basic food and medicines were disappointed
that they had not been given more to compensate them for
the deeply felt loss of their house, car, etc. In the former
Yugoslavia, as elsewhere in the world, the ICRC concentrated
on responding to emergency needs and saving lives.
Thank you for regularly sending me your magazine. It is
a pleasure to read it, although I have to admit that an
article in Issue 2 – 1994 was slightly disappointing.
Reading the title “Speaking the universal language”,
I expected an article about Esperanto. I hoped to learn
something about considerations of using Esperanto within
the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Unfortunately,
this was an error.
Anyhow, I am convinced that sooner or later in the field
of international communication Esperanto will turn into
the world’s most important language. An idea whose
major target is understanding among people of different
religions and races, from different countries and continents,
Short and sweet
We are a postgraduate medical school concerned with public
health issues in developing countries with a staff and student
population from almost 100 countries. Your magazine is an
informative supplement to the academic journals that form
the majority of our collection.
It is a good idea to publish a joint magazine
for this noble Movement of ours. It sums up our objectives
of the sixth and seventh principles, unity and universality.
Ghana Red Cross Society
This magazine is very informative. I am enlightened
by every issue. I think we have to pursue world peace eternally.
Excellent. The magazine broad-ens my knowledge
of Red Cross – from the small, rural town and chapter
activities to international activities. Bozeman is such a
tiny spot on the globe, but the magazine gives me a feeling
of great pride in the volunteers and paid staff of the entire
Bozeman, Montana, USA
Your photographs are excellent. They really
capture the true scenario of our unfortunate brothers in devastated
areas in the world.
Benedicto B. Bulaclac, Jr.
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